GMADA approves 14 vending sites in Mohali
The Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has approved 14 sites in accordance with the Street Vendors’ (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014, after a five-year delay.
The sites have been identified in a joint survey conducted by the Mohali municipal corporation (MC) and GMADA recently.
MC has over the years failed to remove illegal vendors from the main markets of the city, the worst-hit areas being phases 7, 3B1, 3B2, 9, 10, and 11.
The Act is aimed at registering and rehabilitating street vendors and preventing their exploitation by enforcement officers. It also calls for controlling use of urban streets and spaces.
MC commissioner Kamal Kumar Garg said after GMADA identified the sites the civic body had appointed officers to check if these could be used and submit a report after before allocation could begin
The town vending committee has yet to approve the sites even though the process of vendor identification began three years back. It was only in the last five months that MC issued identity cards to 200 vendors out of 993 under the Act, before GMADA identified the sites
A senior GMADA official said the MC had proposed several sites earlier, but these were either meant for parking space or did not have the requisite legal authorisations.“We then carried out a joint survey and identified them... It is MCs project and now they have to check the feasibility of the new sites,” he added.
In January this year, MC decided to first implement the Act in Phase 7, where 139 vendors are registered, as a pilot. The MC commissioner had even asked the agency that conducted the survey to mark the space in the parking areas, but it did not work out as the Market Welfare Association and area councillor of Phase-7 rejected the proposal to allot the sites at the rear parking area of Phase-7.
However, out of 973 vendors only 200 were issued identity cards by the MC, but they are yet to be allocated sites.
The spots selected by GMADA are in sectors 54: Close to Bassi Theatre and near Madanpur Chowk; 55: at Phase 1 barrier; 56: UT-Mohali border; 59: Near Sanatan Dharam Mandir; 65: Close to the petrol pump; 66: Near the sewage treatment plant; 67: National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research; 68: Near Temple of Knowledge; 77: Near Akal Ashram Colony; 78: Near Fire Station; 79: Near Housefed Flats; and 80: Near Convenient Shopping.
Identification process started in 2015
At least 993 vendors were identified in a survey started in 2015 by MC carried out by a private company it had hired. Initially, the firm had identified at least 2,295 vendors, but the MC House found anomalies in the survey and ordered a fresh one. In 2017, the civic body had identified 993 moving and stationary vendors.
Expressing the hope that the vending problem would be sorted out soon, Jatinder Pal Singh, Phase 3B2 Market Welfare Association President, said, “We have requested the authorities concerned on multiple instances to take action against illegal vendors, but nothing has been done so far. The parking lots are left with no space as vendors have encroached upon the area.”
The issue of encroachments is debated in every House meeting, but nothing comes out of it, he added.